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Losing Quality in Catalyst Browse


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Read on to see how you can ensure you retain the quality of your clips when using Catalyst Browse.

For years, I’ve been stabilizing footage in Catalyst Browse the wrong way and just realized it. And with the way the settings are presented, I’m sure I’m not the only one making this mistake. 

334iAE6D813141A2EC51.jpg.7c3e0296983c4253d272ad889f875355.jpgTranscode settings in Catalyst Browse

Here’s the thing—you glance over the transcode settings, see they’re all set to “Same as source”, and reasonably assume that your footage is going to come out the same as the source. But no. 

335i5BB2AC0693A5D9A4.jpg.a35b0e941c4ad2f7b9e42737315fffb8.jpgRead carefully

On the Format drop-down, "Same as source" shows XAVC S, even though I shot the clip in XAVC S-I. This is misleading. You press export, and when you load the clip into your editing software, you can see that the bit depth has devolved to 8-bit, from the original 10-bit. The only reason I realized this is because I noticed some banding in a gray sky on one of my clips.

So what’s the solution? Well, if you don’t want to pay for Catalyst Prepare, the only option that retains both your resolution and bit depth is to export the video as a series of DPX stills, which becomes a pain if you have audio baked into the footage because then you’ll have to relink the audio track when you bring the DPX sequence into your editing software, making for extra post production work.

Showing ‘Same as source’ when it’s actually not the same as source is just like showing 24fps when the camera is really recording 23.98 fps. Come on Sony, don’t deceive us!

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